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Wednesday Afternoon Business Brief

December 12, 2012, 1:20 PM

Wednesday Afternoon Business Brief

Stocks have extended a recent winning streak. Investor sentiment has been helped apparently by the latest statement from the Federal Reserve, which aims to bring down unemployment.

  • The Federal Reserve pledges to spend $45 billion a month with the goal of keeping long-term interest rates low. And it says it plans to keep a key short-term rate near zero until unemployment drops below 6.5 percent.
  • European Union finance ministers have moved closer to creating a single supervisor for their banks. This, after France and Germany said they had largely patched up their differences over the new body's powers.
  • American Airlines is changing the way it charges you to fly. American will charge up to $88 more per round trip for passengers who want a basic ticket that includes checking baggage or changing the reservation later on. Currently the airline levies separate fees for those and other extras for everyone except premium passengers.
  • The person who led the federal government's response to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 says she will leave her post at the end of February. A successor was not immediately announced for Jane Lubchenco, who is administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

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